To improve your dialogue writing, listen intently to . .
- people interact, especially in public places, inner cities, on public transportation, etc.
- how different races converse amongst themselves. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, etc. Consider
style, rhythm, energy, and content.
- improvisational jazz music performed live.
- musicians converse with one another.
- just the audio of great movies, various genres.
- Classic radio dramas and comedies.
What can you learn?
And try . . .
- reading your most recent screenplay out loud to yourself, being as dramatic as you can be, and
as sensitive to differences in character voices as possible.
- arranging a staged reading of your screenplay, informally or formally, with friends or actors,
using a director or guiding the process yourself, reciting to an audience or not. Many local
theaters have stage reading programs for new material, as do screenwriting groups.
- taking an acting class.
- joining an improvisational comedy group.
- attending live theater.
- reading classic plays aloud to
yourself; or with a group, assigning each other roles.
- reading the comics, and watching cartoons, paying close attention to what the characters say
- reviewing a compendium of famous quotes at your local library.
- studying books and other resources on improving conversational skills.